Total commitment

July 9, 2009

I would like to make it clear that the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is committed to the agenda outlined by Lord Drayson regarding focusing research funding on areas of excellence where the UK is internationally competitive and where there are real economic or industrial benefits to be had ("EPSRC chief questions Government's funding stance", 2 July).

In raising this issue, I was not questioning the agenda, but rather seeking to encourage an open discussion with the research community about the best way forward. This is a timely and important debate to have and one Lord Drayson has called for.

We warmly welcome our collaboration with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB). The TSB is now the EPSRC's largest strategic partner: so far we have jointly invested about £100 million while leveraging a further £100 million from industry - investments that have added significant value to UK research. We will continue to work actively with the TSB to ensure that the economic impact and take-up of new technologies arising from publicly funded research are maximised.

Finally, and to correct a statement I made at the conference, I can confirm that the TSB is not funded by the ring-fenced science budget.

David Delpy, Chief executive, EPSRC.

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